There are many reasons why people decide to sell their home. Sometimes they want something bigger to meet the needs of an expanding family. Others are looking to make a new start somewhere else, and some people are looking to downsize once they decide to retire.
Selling a home in Alabama isn’t difficult. How quickly your home sells depends on what kind of home you have and its condition, the asking price and current market conditions.
The process could take a few days, or it could take weeks or months to finalize. There are a lot of moving pieces involved in every real estate transaction, so you just have to allow enough time for things to happen in order.
Here are six essential steps to selling a home:
1. Decide why you want to sell.
One of the first things to think about is why you want to sell your home in the first place. It could be for some of the reasons mentioned above, or there could be other motives. Are you looking to make a life change, or are you looking for a good return on your investment?
Some people make a habit of “flipping” homes, which is buying a home and making upgrades or renovations and then turning around and selling those homes for profit. Sellers in these situations are typically aware of market trends and activity, so they know what features are appealing and market demand.
The average home seller just wants to move from their current residence. They may already have another home or location in mind. This can make them more motivated sellers. Whatever your reason is, understanding why you want to sell your home can pay an important role in setting a price for it.
2. Prepare a budget.
The next thing to do is to get your finances in order. You may already be working on purchasing another home. If this is so, you may have to hold onto two mortgages at the same time.
Other costs to consider include listing your property for sale, hiring a real estate agent and paying commissions to them, making any repairs or renovations to the home and any homeowners association fees, insurance or closing costs that you may be responsible for.
Knowing what to expect will help you set a budget. Make a plan to set aside a certain dollar amount or percentage of your paycheck every month for the costs involved in selling your home.
You can also start saving for buying your new home at the same time. Start a schedule or timeline, and stick to it.
3. Contact a real estate agent and set a price for your home.
One of the most important steps for selling your home is choosing a real estate agent.
You can put your home up for sale yourself or sell it “as is,” but remember that this means that you’ll have to list the home for sale and process and handle all paperwork associated to the sale.
They have tons of data and research that can help you determine the best selling price for your home. A real estate agent will work with you to list your property for sale at a reasonable price at fair market value.
They can hire an appraiser to help determine this value. A real estate agent will also consider the timeline in which you want to sell your home and use that to your advantage in their marketing efforts.
4. Open your home to potential buyers.
Once you’ve put your home up for sale and have started generating interest, it’s time to hold showings. Hosting an open house will allow potential buyers to view the interior and exterior of your home for themselves.
You may want to take some professional photographs or “stage” your home beforehand so that interested parties can view them online before attending an open house.
Before people arrive for a viewing, you should take some time to tidy up your property. It’s okay to make your home feel “lived in,” but not to the point where it’s downright messy.
Washing floors, walls, vacuuming, cleaning furniture, bathrooms and kitchen areas will make your home more welcoming and presentable.
Make things warm and inviting, but keep valuables and any personal or private information out of sight.
Related: Staging Your Home
5. Field offers.
After enough people have viewed your home, you’ll probably receive an offer or two. Take some time to evaluate each offer carefully. As the home seller, you have the right to accept the offer, reject the offer or propose a counter-offer.
If you are working on buying another property at the same time, you may suggest a contingency clause, which makes the offer contingent upon the purchase of your new home.
When you do accept an offer, consult your real estate agent so that a sales contract can be drawn up. The contract should clearly state what each party is responsible for.
It should also contain the purchase price, an expiration date, the down payment, financing terms and any fees, warranties or contingencies that are necessary. Both parties should read the contract carefully before signing it.
6. Start the closing process.
After the offer is accepted and the sales contract is drawn up and agreed upon, you’re ready to begin the closing process. The buyer is usually allowed to conduct a final walk-through of the property to ensure everything is satisfactory.
Other steps in the closing process include a home inspection, a survey of property lines and boundaries, a title search to ensure that you have legal claim and ownership of the home and any required disclosures that could affect the sale.
During the closing process, any fees or agreed-upon costs are paid, title insurance and financing paperwork is exchanged, the title and deed are delivered to the home buyer. The final paperwork is signed and recorded with the proper authorities. The buyer is also given keys to the home.
Selling a home can be the end of one chapter of your life, but it can also be the beginning of another. It may seem traumatic for some, but it should be viewed as a positive.
You’ve successfully completed a real estate transaction, so that someone else can enjoy your former home as much as you did. That in itself is something to appreciate.
Have Questions? Ask Gina!
Buck Realty is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Gina Buck a call today at (334) 657-0939 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.